Japanese bike-maker Kawasaki on Monday launched its fifth high-end bike in India since September, signalling its aggressive intent in the country.
The company, which launched two superbikes in September and another two in December, launched its smallest big bike yet in India, the Z800, while inaugurating its second standalone showroom in association with Bagga Link at Vasant Vihar in Delhi. Its first showroom is in Pune.
The Z800 is a ‘naked’ sports bike that is highly popular in the European market. The 800-cc bike is priced at R8.05 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), and will be brought in as completely built units (CBUs). This is the second naked bike after the Rs 12.5-lakh Z1000, which it launched in December.
Speaking at the launch, India Kawasaki Motor (IKM) deputy MD Shigeto Nishikawa said, “The big bike (500cc+) market in India is growing at about 30% a year. By 2016, we want to have a 25% share of that.”
He said that since September, IKM has sold 25 of its 1,000cc-plus bikes. Bagga Link MD Prem Bagga said the company had already got over a dozen bookings for the superbikes in Delhi.
Pushed about future plans, Nishikawa said IKM would continue to bring in new models, but refused to go into details.
At present Ducati’s Monster 795 is the only direct competitor to the Z800, but the company’s India operations are in a limbo since being taken over by Audi globally. Other Japanese bike-makers are expected to announce entries in this segment at the upcoming Delhi Auto Expo in February.
Kawasaki also sells two smaller motorcycles, the Ninja 300 and Ninja 650, in association with Bajaj Auto. These are assembled at Pune, and are relatively less pricey. Bagga Link is also a dealer for Bajaj Auto in Delhi.
The Indian luxury motorcycle market has been witnessing a boom over the last four years, with the market led by Harley Davidson and Suzuki Motors, which sell about 300 bikes a year.